Sandberg Returning as Lehigh Valley Manager

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, November 21, 2011 02:30 PM | Comments: 8
Analysis, Blueclaws, Crosscutters, Fightins, IronPigs, Minor Leagues, News, Opinion, Posts, Rookie Leagues, Threshers

In a press release from the Phillies, they announced that Ryne Sandberg will return to the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs as manager.

I’m happy they were able to bring back Sandberg, as he’s succeeded at basically every level as both a player and coach. It’s a shame for him that he was unable to secure a position as a manager in the majors after another great season in 2011, however, there will be plenty of opportunities in the future.

Former Phillies Andy Tracy and Aaron Fultz and newcomers Andy Abad and Lino Connell have been added to the Phillies’ player development staff, Joe Jordan, Director, Player Development, announced today.  The staff also includes 21 returning members.

At triple-A Lehigh Valley, the entire staff of manager Ryne Sandberg, coach Sal Rende and pitching coach Rod Nichols will return.  Sandberg, a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, is back for his second season after leading the IronPigs to their first playoff appearance in club history in 2011.  Rende will enter his ninth season with the Phillies and second straight at Lehigh Valley, while Nichols returns for his 13th year in the organization and eighth at triple-A.

Dusty Wathan has been promoted to manager for double-A Reading after spending the last two years in the same capacity for single-A Clearwater.  Wathan will be joined by coach Frank Cacciatore – back for his fifth season with Reading – and pitching coach Bob Milacki, who will enter his third season with the team.

At Clearwater, Chris Truby takes over as manager, moving up a level from Lakewood (A), where he managed last year.  Former major league manager John Mizerock returns for his second season as a coach for Clearwater and pitching coach Dave Lundquist for his fourth.

Mickey Morandini, who returned to the organization full-time last season as the manager for single-A Williamsport (A), will take the helm at Lakewood for 2012.  Greg Legg – back for his 31st season with the Phillies and fifth straight at Lakewood – returns as a coach, while pitching coach Les Lancaster moves up from the Gulf Coast League Phillies.

The Williamsport staff will feature three new hires to the Phillies organization.  Tracy, who played in parts of two pennant-winning seasons for the Phillies (2008-09), will make his managerial debut with the club.  Tracy played 16 years of professional baseball and finished his minor league career with a .268 batting average, 296 home runs and 1,064 RBI in 1,590 games.  Fultz, who will be his pitching coach, enters his first season as a coach in the professional ranks.  He spent two years (2005-06) on the Phillies’ pitching staff under manager Charlie Manuel and played on the National League champion San Francisco Giants in 2002.  The coach at Williamsport has yet to be determined.

At the rookie level, longtime staff member Roly deArmas will manage the Gulf Coast Phillies for the sixth consecutive year and ninth, overall.  His coaching staff will be comprised of Kevin Jordan and Steve Schrenk.

Carlos Arroyo is back for his 37th season on the Phils’ player development staff, continuing his role of rehab pitching coach.  Connell has joined the staff in an as yet unspecified role.

Five of the six minor league coordinators from last year are returning in their same roles: Mike Compton (field), Gorman Heimueller (pitching), Steve Henderson (hitting), Doug Mansolino (infield) and Ernie Whitt (catching).  They will be joined by former major leaguer Andy Abad, who will serve as the new outfield/baserunning coordinator, and Jorge Velandia, who will take on the new role of assistant field coordinator.  Velandia spent the previous two years as a coach for Williamsport.

Lehigh Valley (AAA)                                                   Reading (AA)

Ryne Sandberg (manager)                                              Dusty Wathan (manager)

Sal Rende (coach)                                                          Frank Cacciatore (coach)

Rod Nichols (pitching coach)                                            Bob Milacki (pitching coach)

Clearwater (A)                                                           Lakewood (A)

Chris Truby (manager)                                                   Mickey Morandini (manager)

John Mizerock (coach)                                                    Greg Legg (coach)

Dave Lundquist (pitching coach)                                      Les Lancaster (pitching coach)

Williamsport (A)                                                         Gulf Coast Phillies (R)

Andy Tracy (manager)                                                   Roly deArmas (manager)

TBA (coach)                                                                  Kevin Jordan (coach)

Aaron Fultz (pitching coach)                                            Steve Schrenk (pitching coach)

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1709 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

  • Posts: 3085 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    I think this is good. If he can then just hold on for one more year (2013) he could be a possible successor to Charlie when his contract is up???

  • Posts: 0 BART SHART

    RE: SANDBERG———Fan-tastic news

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    This is great news.
    He may be called upon in July or june to move up a step in the orginazation.
    Just a hunch.

    • Posts: 454 Ian Riccaboni

      Avatar of Ian Riccaboni

      I agree. Greg Gross might not last the whole season if the bats aren’t hot right away.

  • Posts: 0 Mazinman

    I am very happy about this. When the time comes that Charlie decides to retire I want Sandberg to replace him.

  • Posts: 1135 EricL

    Avatar of EricL

    I’m actually a little disappointed that he wasn’t given some sort of position on the MLB staff, but that’s just a minor quibble, and I suppose it’s possible that he declined such an option. Either way, it’s good to have him back and I wouldn’t mind seeing him succeed Charlie in another year or so. This year would actually be fine with me, but, you know, whatever.

  • Posts: 454 Ian Riccaboni

    Avatar of Ian Riccaboni

    @EricL – I wouldn’t be surprised if Ryne is the next in line after Charlie but I too would have loved to see him on the MLB bench this year.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    It’s going to be interesting to see how the Sandberg saga plays out, maybe he wanted to return as a minor league manager than run the risk of being buried on the major league staff. There’s no reason to think Charlie won’t be around for several more seasons and the chances of Sanberg not being given a chance at the major league level by then with all the interest seems slim. Whoever follows Charlie is going to have a tough time living up to expectations as they’ll be sky high.

    Nice to see ex-Phils being welcomed back as coaches.

Leave a Comment

>> Create a new Phillies Nation account.
>> Already registered with Phillies Nation? Log in here.
>> Comment without logging in:

Please ensure your comments comply with our Comment Policy.